Recently, I came across the Papergirl Art Project, a unique idea that, in the style of American paper boys/girls, rolled art pieces are randomly distributed by bicycle to unsuspecting recipients in the streets of Berlin.
The initial concept began in 2005, after the city of Berlin began tightening laws and fines on anyone pasting posters in public spaces, equating the act with graffiti. Aisha Ronniger, then a first year art student, brainstormed with her fellow students about new ways to bring art into urban spaces without breaking any laws. The idea of passing out art in the streets by bicycle was suggested and the Papergirl Project was born.
Now in its fourth year, the Project consists of a two week exhibition followed by the “aktion” (distribution of the rolls of artwork). Anyone can participate in the event by submitting their artwork or by helping with the distribution. Each roll contains 10-15 different works in different genres and formats.
Papergirl is non-commercial so the art rolls cannot be sold or subscribed to. The distribution is a spontaneous act and chance plays a big part in who receives the artwork. The Papergirl motto is: “Anyone who picks up a roll is lucky, and money can’t buy luck. Such as giving something is most fun when you don’t expect anything in return!”
The Papergirl Art Project has gained international attention and branch projects have been started in Albany, NY, Northampton, MA, and California.
For more information on how you can get involved, and to view past events, visit the Papergirl Berlin website.